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Dori: We finally know how to stop drive-by shootings — flower beds, speed bumps

Will flower beds help stop drive-by shootings? (Nicole Jennings/KIRO Radio)

There have been so many drive-by shootings lately — one on Friday in the Central District that left a 19-year-old dead, one in Fife over the weekend, and another in Federal Way.

What do we do about them? Well, finally we have a political leader who has stepped forward. Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant has come up with a plan for what to do about the shootings in this region. Even though I am often a critic of this woman, I was blown away by the brilliance of her suggestion.

Community members are advocating for traffic-calming measures like raised flowerbeds or speed bumps on 21st Avenue, where there have been three drive-by shootings during the current school year.

Flower beds? Flower beds are going to stop drive-by shootings. Why didn’t we think of that before? I can just hear it now: “You killed my cousin, so I’m gonna get — hey, is that a gardenia? So pretty.” If somebody sees a petunia, they’re not going to want to bust a cap. Murderers are just too happy when they see those flowers.

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Yes, that’s the answer, flower beds. Why in the world has it taken until 2019 for us to think of flower beds to stop drive-by shootings in the Central District? This is brilliant.

And not just flower beds, but speeds bumps, too — brilliant in their simplicity.

If we combine them, we won’t have any more drive-by shootings. Gang members don’t want to scrape their car on a speed bump when getting away from the scene of the shooting, so they just won’t shoot in the first place. But mainly it will be the flowers that have such a calming effect on people.

Often I’m a critic of Kshama Sawant, but when I hear how in-touch she is with the street — how she’s got her finger on the pulse of what’s going on with our neighborhoods — I sit in awe of the council member.

I do have some practical questions, though. Are the speed bumps going to be permanent or the temporary plastic ones? I have to be honest, neither of these ideas had occurred to me. But perhaps some of you are more in-tune with the streets and could explain to me what kind of speed bumps and flowers we need. Let me know in the comments.

And hey, maybe while we’re at it, we should hire someone to follow Sawant around with a cart full of flowers. Then she may not sound so angry all the time. Flowers sound just like what she needs.

Here are some listener responses:

“Dori, nothing says, ‘Stop drive-by shootings’ like ‘pop-pop-poppies.'” – the 253

“Dori, you can hide behind the raised flower beds when the bullets fly.” – the 253

“Speed bumps are to slow traffic, disrupt drive-by shooters’ aim, and slow approach and escape speed.” – the 360

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